The past few days, I’ve been thinking about why I go to Opus meetings, why I like to sit and talk about your work, what it is that I get from spending my Monday and Thursday evenings in a familiar little room on the second floor of Lubbers. I think it has to do with the following (bear with me; it may take me a bit to get to my point)…
One of my great passions is Modernist literature and something that’s always struck me about the movement is how all the major players knew each other. They knew each other. Think about Gertrude Stein’s apartment in Paris and the Lost Generation. Or Ezra Pound’s travelling circle of Imagists. Or even Edith Sitwell’s flat in London where all the so-called “Bright Young Things” gathered. These writers met together, they edited each other’s work (I mean, we’ve got Ezra Pound to thank for The Wasteland not being quadruple the length that it is), they learned from each other, and they advocated for each other (would we know H.D. without Pound or Wilfred Owen without the Sitwells?).
And I just think that’s so cool. As writers, we can sometimes be so inwardly focused. Focused on our thoughts. Focused on our work. Focused on ourselves. And that’s okay; to a certain extent, we need to be that way in order to write well. But the fact that we can take a break, that we can meet together and talk about poetry and fiction and non-fiction and art, is amazing. Not only because it’s nice to be a part of a group, but because it can help us improve our own work, too.
ALSO: Foods inspired by the Lost Generation: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/03/found-meals-of-the-lost-generation/
And a fitting comic:
Much love from your publicity editor,